Tuesday, July 27, 2010


That would be Out of Town (bags) for those of you who don't speak wedding. I just like to say OOT. It makes me giggle. Cuz I'm 4.

ANYWAY. Our out of town bags have been given significant consideration. And by that, I mean that I've been obsessing and Matt has been looking at me thinking, "Who are you and what have you done with my normal fiance?" Whatever. I want our guests to be wowed as soon as they check into the hotel. To know that they're in for a great weekend. To know that we appreciate that they've traveled, spent money, and taken time out of our lives to celebrate with us.

Apparently, I also want them....to get fat. Because here's what I've come up with. First up? To represent where we currently live, each bag will get 2 miniature pretzels from the Philly Pretzel Factory.

Say you: Pretzels?! Who cares about pretzels?
Say me: Hush, you. If you've never had one, you don't know. And hey - at least I'm not trying to stuff a cheesesteak in there (don't think it didn't cross my mind)! [Blogger tried to tell me that cheesesteak was 2 words. Silly Blogger]

Seriously, though. I used to be strictly an Auntie Anne's pretzel girl. No trip to the mall was complete without a stop at the Auntie Anne's shop. And then? I moved to Philly and had my first taste of the Philly Pretzel Factory pretzel. Umm...yeah...mind - blown. If there ever was a perfect food, this might be it. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but...you get the point. These things are freaking awesome. Anyway, we tested it out at home to see how they held up in storage (a ziploc), and they did pretty well, but we're definitely going the unsalted route; the salt kind of liquefied and made the pretzels a bit gooey. So yeah, our guests will each get an unsalted Philly Pretzel Factory mini. I'm jealous of them already.

Next? I came across this little set on a another blog, and immediately had to have it.

ACK! How fabulous are these? Cookie cutters that you can customize with your own messages! Each guest will get a cookie, too. Homemade with a special message from me and Matt. I plan to start baking and freezing them soon, and then thaw and decorate a week or so before the wedding. Thank you, Williams Sonoma. I have always loved you.

And, of course, no wedding in Hershey would be complete without some Hersheys love. We haven't decided which product to use, though. I think we should go with the classic Hershey bar, but I could also be convinced to change it up a bit. We'll see once we get there and it's time to fill the bags.

We're also going to include a bottle of water for each guest because, well, who doesn't need one of those after a superfun wedding? I'm also going to put together a small little "emergency kit" with travel-sized packs of Tylenol, Advil, Tums, and band-aids. I haven't decided if I'm going to do something cute with the kits, or just throw things into a ziploc bag. Time will determine that, I think.

I hand-drew a couple maps of the area, including one that has a specified Wedding Day Route so that guests know exactly how to get from the hotel, to the ceremony, and back to the hotel/reception site. We'll throw in a thank-you from me and Matt, and some brochures about area fun stuff!

As for the bags themselves, I'll just pick some gift bags up at the Paper Factory or something. And then I downloaded a custom monogram from the WeddingChicks blog. They have tons of stuff, so if you're planning a wedding and want to go the DIY route but aren't creative enough to actually design something, definitely check them out! Bonus: they're all FREE!

So that's it! All the contents of our OOTs! I can't wait to get started on the baking, and hope that our guests will love them as much as I've loved planning them!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wedding Gifts

Matt's a little clueless about some of this wedding stuff - it's so adorable. For example, he had absolutely no idea that traditionally, the bride and groom exchange gifts on the day of the wedding. We talked about it and initially just agreed to buy each other our wedding bands and be done with it. But I did tell him that we should at least give each other cards or letters the day-of, to be delivered by our BM/MOH.

Say you
: Woah, control freak.
Say me: I know, but I just love those pictures of the bride and groom opening their gifts and seeing the special words written to them. I want those pictures.

Anyway, the more I thought about, though, the more I realized that I wanted to get something for Matt. I love to give gifts, especially to the people I love. And I absolutely love taking the time to come up with something special that that person would like. I have so much fun trying to be creative with gifts. Not to mention that my ring is going to cost significantly more than his is. Not that I'm all "we-have-to-spend-the-same-amount-on-each-other," but you know...

So, I thought long and hard about what to do or get for Matt. While perusing Etsy, I came across Venus Flytrap Jewels and her custom-made awesomeness. Custom-made cuff links! Brilliant!! Matt has never had any cuff links of his own - he always just uses the ones that come with the rented tuxes. And that was what he planned to do for our wedding. Umm...no. So I contacted Venus Flytrap and asked if they could make a set of cuff links with a picture that I sent her. She said she could, and 3 weeks later, they arrived at my doorstep. Wanna see?

Yay, Rocky!! Have I explained why Rocky is special to us? No? Allow me to elaborate, then! When Matt and I first met, I was told that the fact that I'd never seen Rocky is completely inexcusable. On my first visit to Philadelphia, we watched the first Rocky. Subsequent visits = subsequent Rockys. I've seen all but the 5th, including the 6th...at the theater...on the release day. So, we watched Rocky on our first "date." If you're a sentimental shmuck like me, then that makes it sort of special. But it gets better.

9 months into our relationship, I found out that the city of Philadelphia shows the original
Rocky on the steps of the Art Museum. Every year. I was so excited. I put together a little game for Matt for the week leading up to the night of the screening. Each day I gave him a clue about what I was planning for him, but my clues were pretty vague, so he had absolutely no idea what he was in for. The night of the screening, I packed us a "picnic" dinner of Wawa hoagies, sodas, chips, and, of course, popcorn, and put Matt in the car and started driving. I parked around the back of the museum, and we started walking up the back steps, with all our gear in town. He still had no idea what was going on. As we came around the front of the museum, at the top of the steps, we were greeted with a scene of about 200 people lounging on the steps and a big truck parked at the bottom with a big movie screen on it. The opening credits started rolling as soon as we reached the top of the steps - I seriously could not have timed it better if I'd tried. Matt was totally surprised, and completely thrilled. He was like a little kid. It was so cute. Here's a picture I took that night:

How cool is that? The steps filled up as the movie played, and by about the middle of the movie, they were completely full. When they get to the scene where Rocky takes his (absolutely physically impossible) run through the city and up the steps of the Art Museum, the crowd erupts into cheers. It's a really cool experience, and if you're in or near the city of Philadelphia, I highly recommend you check it out. So anyway, that's now an annual tradition for us.

When we bought our house, I made a special Rocky corner in our living room. It includes Matt's poster from the original film and his replica Rocky statue, plus a couple pictures I've taken - the one I have above, one of us under the real Rocky statue, and one of us at the restaurant they used as Adrian's in the most recent movie, Rocky Balboa (the restaurant, in Philadelphia, is called Victor Cafe, and is really great).

So...yeah...we like Rocky.

I'm also doing something else as a wedding gift, but that'll be another post...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Love and All That Mushy Stuff

Recently there have been some interesting and thought-provoking posts out there on a number of the blogs that I read. [Note, they're almost always interesting, but these particular posts really got me thinking] They're about relationships and love. What kind of love do you have with your partner? What kind of relationship do you have? And it really made me sit and consider these questions, among others.

Sara, over at First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage wrote this really great piece on kinds of love. And it got me thinking - what kind of love do Matt and I have? We certainly don't have the obsessive, uber-passionate Twilight love of Bella and Edward. Not that I've read the books, mind you, but I have watched the movies, and their relationship kind of scares me. I do not understand the millions of women out there who watch those movies or read those books and wish that this is what their relationships looked like. Bella and Edward are so enmeshed with each other, it seems a bit dangerous to me. And maybe that's part of the attraction? Their love is so fierce that they would die without each other? I don't know. But I wouldn't want a relationship like that. I want to be able to breathe in my relationship - to have my own life - and to know that, if anything happened, I'd survive. I have friends outside of our relationship, and that's important to me. Matt spends weekends with the guys, and that's important to him. But we always know that we're going to come home to each other, and that's enough for us. Sure, we have our passionate moments, and emotions can run high at times, but we also have plenty of laid-back evenings spent lounging in our backyard, sharing a bottle of wine and talking about nothing in particular. And, to be honest, those are my favorite moments.

Sara compared her relationship to Up, and I think that's adorable. But that's not necessarily us, either. Matt and I are more...Monica and Chandler. We support each other when times get tough. We know each other's history and, though sometime's we've struggled with that knowledge, we work through it and move forward. We laugh with each other (a lot) but can cry together, too. We know each other's hopes for the future, and agree to support each other in achieving those hopes...whatever it takes. We have solid friends around us to help us support each other. We're superclose, but we're not each other's best friends - we leave that role to other people, outside our relationship. And, just like Monica and Chandler, it took patience and understanding and time to get to where we are now. And, just like Monica and Chandler, we are absolutely certain that this is it - the true love we've waited for our entire lives.

Which brings me to another post, from Weddingbee: having your significant other be your best friend. As I just mentioned, Matt and I are superclose, but I wouldn't necessarily call him my best friend. I can (and do) talk to him about just about anything. But sometimes a girl just needs to bounce something off of someone other than the person she's sharing a bed with, ya know? Not to mention the fact that sometimes, you really just need to bitch about your SO, and, um, well doing it with him/her is kind of awkward! And that's what I have Justin for. And the girls in my wedding party. That's 7 extra people, and even among them I turn to each of them for very different reasons. I guess I just think it's better to have a widely varied sounding board. (c:

Anywhoser, I don't necessarily want Matt to be my best friend - I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. While I love Matt and know that he'll always be there for me, I don't want to rely solely on him. I think when you get into a situation where your signifant other is your best friend, you're getting into murky territory. I've seen friends in these relationships before, and when they've ended, they haven't ended well. Because while they're in the relationship and making their SO their best friend, they're also distancing themselves from the friends they'd previously counted on. And those friends? They're only going to hang around so long before they get tired of being shut out and move on. And then the relationship ends, and they have no one to turn to, because they've alienated everyone. And that's a dangerous place to be - sad, lonely, scared, and alone (and yes, I do think there's a difference between lonely and alone). I feel much more confident in my relationship with Matt knowing that should anything happen, we'll both have people around us to help us put the pieces back together.

But I think that each relationship works the way it works. What feels right for Matt and I may feel cold and distant to someone else. And what feels passionate and fun to someone else may feel psychotic and obsessive to me and Matt. And that's ok. Because it's love - all kinds of love - that makes the world go round.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Honeymoon Decision(s)

All we knew was sun, beach, all-inclusive. Initially, those were our only requirements. Neither of us have ever been to an all-inclusive resort, and I, for one, have been dying to try it. I mean - hello? - you basically could leave your wallet at home. Sounds freakin awesome to me! Matt and I always seem to get ourselves into trouble on vacations because we forget all the other "little" things that cost money when you're on vacation and pretending that life doesn't exist outside of your vacation bubble. I mean, we pay upfront for the hotel, airfare, and car, usually, because I book "packages" through Southwest airlines or cheaptickets.com. And once I do that, it's like I seem to forget that, oh yeah, we still have to eat. And do fun things. And maybe buy Tylenol. I'm not so great at the whole money thing (which is why he manages our finances!). So, all-inclusive, where you pay for your lodging, transportation, food, drinks, and booze all at once? Yes, please!

So, we started researching all-inclusive resorts. First we talked about where we didn't want to go: Jamaica, Domincan Republic, and Mexico. Then we talked about where we did want to go. I really wanted to go somewhere I've never been - Costa Rica, Belize, Brazil...somewhere cool and exotic-sounding. I've been to several islands in the Caribbean, and love each and every one of them, but was hoping for something different for our honeymoon. I was blessed to grow up in house where travelling was important, and we were able to afford it because my mom travelled a lot for work, so we used frequent flyer miles and points to pay for a lot of things. I've been a lot of places, and I'm so, so, so lucky and grateful to be able to say that. Matt's never been, well, anywhere. His family didn't travel much growing up. In fact, I think it's safe to say that Matt's travelled more in the 5 years that we've been dating than he did his whole life. I really enjoy travelling with him and exploring with him, and look forward to being able to take him back to some of the places I've been and rediscover them with him (like Australia and Italy and Ireland...).
ANYWAY. Back to the honeymood discussions. Based on the above information, Matt kind of didn't care where we ended up, as long as it was all-inclusive and sunny and had a beach that we could relax by. A swim-up bar also wouldn't hurt. I looked at a lot of all-inclusive resorts in South America, but none of them seemed quite right. After looking at many resorts in South America and the Caribbean, and finding nothing that quite struck our fancy, we sat down again. And we figured it out - we tended to rule out a place if it had a kids' club, or lots of kid-friendly activities. [Seriously, we sound like we hate kids - no kids at the wedding, no kids on our honeymoon - but I swear, we both really do love kids!!] So, we added one more must to the list - adults-only. Well, typing that into a Google internet search gets you some interesting results! Ever heard of Hedonism resorts? Yeah, I hadn't either...and kind of wish I never had. Yish!

Finally, we settled on Sandals resorts. I had tried to stay away from this because, well, it's just so done. Everyone goes to Sandals for their honeymoons, and I desperately wanted to do something different. But Sandals is just about the only recognizable name out there that has all-inclusive, adults-only resorts! There are a few others, but they are mostly in Mexico or Jamaica, the 2 places at the top of our Do-Not-Go-To list. Oh well. So Sandals it was. But, which Sandals? Well, our DNGT list eliminated several right off the bat, and our budget cut quite a few out as well. We were basically left with Bahamas and St. Lucia. I've been to the Bahamas before, and was willing to go back, but their resorts were kind of, meh. So, St. Lucia. But there are 3 resorts on St. Lucia! Geez!! Well, one was a little high for our budget. We could've done it, but we'd be staying in the absolute lowest tier room type, and we wanted something a little more special for our honeymoon. So that left us with Regency La Toc and Halcyon Beach.
We ended up choosing Halcyon Beach. It's smaller, and only has 4 restaurants, but that's kind of what we like about it - it's small, intimate, and all the reviews I've read say it's the most laid-back of the three. And if you know us at all, you know that we're about as laid-back as they come. We booked a middle-tier room, so that we'd have some extra money for excursions and other stuff. We are SO excited! We both updated our background on our work computers to show a picture of the resort. It's so beautiful.

The bonus about being on St. Lucia is that we get to stay at one, but use any of the amenities at the other 2 resorts. So if we get bored with our restaurants, we can hop a (free!) shuttle and head over to one of the others to enjoy their restaurants. We can also use the golf course at Regency (this would cost extra - greens fees are free, but we'd have to rent clubs and they require caddies).

Excursions are a bit pricey, but we set up a honeymoon registry so that our guests can "gift" us the excursions. We talked about it before we set it up, and decided that even if no one buys us anything off of it, we'd be ok with hanging out at the 3 resorts and just lounging around for the time that we're there. We didn't want to set ourselves up for disappointment, because some people seem to have issues with honeymoon registries - like we're asking for people to pay for our honeymoon. And that's not the case at all. Our honeymoon is booked and (almost) paid for - we're just asking people to help make our honeymoon that much more special! We had a blast picking out the excursions to include on our registry and are looking forward to taking some special trips on our special trip!

So that's it - our honeymoon decision and how we came to it. Want some eye candy to be jealous of? I thought you might. [All photos from Sandals website]
Pretty, isn't it?
I'm pretty sure this is the room level we booked.
Mario's - an Italian restaurant
The Pier Restaurant - supposedly this has the best Caribbean food on the island

I want to be in one of these. NOW.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Holy. Crap.

You guys. There's only 100 days left until our wedding day! *squeee!*

I feel pretty good about our progress. We have finished a lot of our DIY projects, which is hugely awesome. The absolute last thing I want to do is save things for the very last minute. We still have to print, cut out, and assemble the programs; copy the maps for the Out-of-Town bags; print the labels for the Out-of-Town bags; and purchase/assemble the items for the Out-of-Town bags. We should easily be able to get those done by the time the wedding arrives. I have faith.

The boys' clothing is taken care of. My outfit is nearly complete, with the exception of the dreaded shoes. The girls are dressed and have been instructed to accessorize however they choose (within reason, of course - no tiaras, ladies!). Moms have been outfitted, as well. They both found great dresses at killer prices, all without our input. Just picked something off the rack and loved it!

All important vendors are booked. We have our tasting scheduled with David and JDK in August. We have to finalize the ceremony music with the organist, and go over the ceremony details with our Pastor. We have to provide a bit more guidance to the DJ, and schedule a meeting with our photographer to go over the schedule and must-have (and must-leave-out) shots of the day. I have my hair and makeup trial scheduled at the salon. Our bachelor/ette parties are scheduled, although not exactly planned yet.

Everything is really coming together. And it's been so much fun. I keep wondering if I'm missing something. Everyone says that wedding planning is so stressful but...I'm not really feelin it. Maybe because Matt is involved and helpful and supportive. Maybe because my mom is awesome. Or maybe it's just because planning the day that I get to marry my very best friend in the world is just so exciting, I can't get stressed over it. At the end of the day, all I know is that I am marrying the love of my life, and celebrating that marriage with all of our favorite people in the world. And I. Can't. WAIT.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More Specific Music

Ok. So I'm completely, weirdly, uninvolved in our music choices for the wedding reception (other than, as I mentioned, the cocktail hour). But, of course, there are some songs that we absolutely have to pick. And we've had a lot of fun coming up with those.

First up - The Wedding Party Entrance. And, since we love our wedding party (and we love this song choice), we'll be walking in to the same song. No changing songs. It woudl probably make for a "grander" entrance, but...meh. We're not exactly Grand Entrance people. Ya dig? And the winner is:

"Small Town," by John Mellencamp. This is so fitting for us. We really love Mellencamp - we've both seen him in concert several times, including once together. Plus, um, we really did grow up in a small town.

Okie-dokie. Moving on. Next up? The cake cutting:

"Lucky," by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. I completely love this song. I suggested this as an alternative for our first dance, but when we ultimately decided to go with our first choice (coming up), this took honorable mention in the cake cutting.

After we cut the cake, we do our first dance. This song has been our song for a really long time, so people are not surprised when we tell them that this is our first dance:

"Chasing Cars," by Snow Patrol. I have been a huge fan of Snow Patrol for years, and when I first heard this song in particular, I could not stop talking to Matt about it. I sang it all the time. And when Matt finally heard it, he said it reminds him of me. I was a little worried about it being a bit long for a first dance, but Matt basically said, "Whatever. We've sat through all of their first dances...they can sit through ours. This is our song. That's it." So. That was that.

We haven't quite figured out the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances. I have made several suggestions to my dad, none of which he's really taken the bait on. I happen to love this song - it seriously makes me cry every single time I hear it. Which is a bad thing when I put Paul Simon on shuffle on my iPod, and it comes on when I'm sitting on the train. Crying on the train? Not cool. But this song? Absolutely adorable:

"Father and Daughter," by Paul Simon. Sorry for the crappy sound quality. I love this. But my dad seems to think it's too upbeat. Or something. He thinks it'll be hard to dance to. I disagree. I also suggested "In My Life," by the Beatles and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It's a Wonderful World," by the Glee cast (yup...the Glee cast...not the Iz version). Like I said, so far he doesn't seem to love any of them. He'll come around. Hee hee.
Matt and his mom have kind of talked about it, but I don't think Mrs. I has made up her mind quite yet. I don't even know what her thoughts are.

And, of course, the last song. I wanted something fun that would get everyone on the dance floor...including Matt, who's not at all a dancer. So:

"Good Lovin," by the Dead. I mean, you can't help but feel good when you hear this song, and you can't help but want to dance. And it's the Dead! Who are pretty much the awesome-est.

So there it is. Our music choices for the reception. I'm so excited to share these experiences and moments with our guests!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

General Music

Throughout this wedding planning process, I've come to find myself quite funny. I'm finding that things that I don't care about in real life are causing me to do massive amounts of internet searches and spend far too much time thinking about them. See my post the other day on shoes (funnily enough, I barely care at all about the bridesmaids' shoes). Also, I never knew I cared so much about stamps before, but suddenly I'm looking at the different stamps available, trying to see which ones I might want to use for our invitations, and finding nothing that I like. I'm starting to consider custom-printing stamps, people. Someone, please...stop me.

And then there are things that I care a great deal about in real life that I'm giving about zero amount of thought to. Like our cake. I watch wedding cake shows as much as I possibly can. Everytime there's a cake challenge show, or a cake show-down show, I watch it. I used to watch (even DVR) Ace of Cakes, but I kind of got over that, for some reason. And I hate Cake Boss, simply because the guy refers to fondant (FAHN-dunt) by his made-up stupid fancy way of saying it (fahn-DAHNT). But any other show that has to do with make big fancy cakes - I'm all over it. Love them. I follow Cake Wrecks blog because it is hilarious and even badly made fancy cakes are amazing to me. And yet, when it came time to picking out and designing our cake, I was totally blase about it. "Meh, sure, that looks good. We'll take it."

The one that's really surprising me, though, is the music for our special day. In a way, I'm kind of giving a lot of thought about it, but not nearly as much as I thought I would. And I say that because, well, I'm obsessed with music. I require it to breathe - it's seriously like oxygen to me. Even when music is playing around me, I'm listening to it in my head. I have a very strong connection to music, and it has the ability to deeply affect me. There are songs that make me laugh out loud when I hear them because of something that someone said or did while I was listening to it, and there are songs that make me burst into tears because of the beauty/pain of the lyrics or even the notes. So going into this process, I thought that finding the perfect playlist would be a huge obsession of mine. Turns out...it's kind of not.

When I spoke to our DJ the first time, and he asked me what kind of music we wanted to have played at our reception, I just said, "We like all kinds of music. Stuff from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, mostly. Fun, upbeat stuff is great, to get people on the dance floor, but we also love the Allman Brothers and the Dead. We don't really like current "club" music, but there are a few songs that we would like to hear." Super vague, right? And maybe a little confusing? But, I mean, how much direction am I supposed to give the guy? He's a professional, for crying out loud; I would think he could come up with a great way to play all of that and make it sound normal and keep the party going. [Sidebar: I did a lot of research about DJs and this company, and this DJ, in particular, got really good reviews. Especially from people who specifically said, "We gave him little to no direction." That sounded like someone we wanted to get on board with.]

Funnily enough, I am a little obsessive about the cocktail hour and dinner parts of the evening. I provided the DJ with a list of specific artists that I want him to play during the cocktail hour and a separate list of artists to play during dinner. I want to create 2 similar yet different vibes for those two hours of the night. I want them both to be mellow, but the cocktail hour should be a bit hipper, cooler, and upbeat, while dinner should be really laid-back and jazzy. For example, my "playlist" for the cocktail hour includes (but is not limited to): Brett Dennen, Ingrid Michaelson, Adele, Joshua Radin...that kind of vibe. The dinner hour "playlist" includes (but, again, is not limited to): Bruce Hornsby, Norah Jones, Ray LaMontagne...you get the picture (or sound).

Other than that, though, we've given him very little direction, and I don't really plan to dictate much of what is played during the actual party part of the reception. I have a few songs that are absolute must-plays, like "Oh What a Night," by the Four Seasons (?) for my girls, because it's a tradition that we've had since high school, and "Yeah," by Usher, for my sister, because it's a song that reminds me of our trip to Europe and what was one of the best nights ever, out at a Madrid nightclub with all our hostel-mates.

So that's the general musical feel of our reception. Stay tuned for specific song choices for the important moments of the night.

Monday, July 5, 2010

DIY - Four Down!

Matt and I got started on the wine bottles this weekend! We have been "brewing" our own wine now for about 3 years. We really like it, and usually the wine turns out pretty good. We really didn't want to do a favor - we were going to just do charity donations (in case you're interested, we would have donated to Shriners Hospitals for Children of Philadelphia; I used to work there and it means the world to me). But then somehow we came up with this idea, and we both loved it.

So we decided to do Cabernet Sauvignon. We've made it in the past and it's come out well, so we thought it would be a good bet to try it again. We had to make 2 batches, in order to make enough 187 ml bottles for everyone on our guest list. We certainly don't think everyone will show up, but at least we have enough just in case they do. We had to do one batch at a time, and we finished bottling the second batch last weekend.

Say you: What does it mean, to "brew" your own wine?
Say me: Well, I say "brew" because it's not as complicated as it sounds...

First step is that you go to your local home brewing supplier. Ours is in Montgomeryville. So you go and get this big box of juice, which also comes with some of the other things you need. The box (I think) tells you what else to buy, but I would highly recommend talking to someone at the store to confirm stuff. The process can get a little overwhelming. So anyway, you basically take this box of juice, and put it into a big plastic jug, along with some other things (yeast, stabilizers, etc...Matt does all of this) and let it sit for a couple of weeks. Then you rack it (meaning you transfer it) into a big 6 gallon carboy, stir in a few other ingredients, and let it sit again. A few weeks later, you bottle it. It's fairly simple.

For our wedding favors, we did 187 ml bottles. Usually, we use full-size wine bottles, but for this purpose, we didn't think full wine bottles were appropriate. So we bottled into the 187 ml bottles (which, by the way, was hard...and messy!). We weren't able to use corks for the little bottles, so we ended up capping them with beer bottle caps.

We went to Kinko's today to print out the labels we made from our engagement photos.

We also made ingredients labels for the back of the bottles. I got the idea for the personalized barcode from a poster on Weddingbee.

We had also gotten ribbon to tie on the them, but when we started tying it into bows, it looked really stupid. So Matt played around with it, and came up with tying the ribbon like a tie! It looks so. good!

I cannot wait to see these displayed on our reception tables!!

(all photos are mine!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I am so. not. a shoe girl. Never have been. I'm not one of these women who walks around noticing other women's shoes. I don't enjoy shopping for shoes. I've never understood women who own hundreds of pairs of shoes. I don't understand the need to own shoes in several different styles and colors (except for flip-flops, of which I own about 10 pairs, because in the summer, you're supposed to wear bright fun colors and have bright fun shoes to match - duh). And I definitely don't nod in agreement when other women say, "I had such a horrible day, so I went out and bought myself these really cute new shoes!" What?! If I have a bad day, I buy myself a big brownie or some new music on iTunes.

Never. Under. Stoodit.

And then, I got this sparkly little ring on my finger. Suddenly, I'm Carrie-Freakin-Bradshaw. I'm shopping online for shoes every day. I'm stopping back at DSW every other week or so. I'm stopping in the Nine West outlet in the train station every couple of days. What have I become?!

I'm completely indecisive when it comes to my shoes for the wedding. I don't know what I want. I don't necessarily want anything super wedding-y. I like the recent trend of wearing colored shoes, especially blue shoes for your "something blue," but I already know what my something blue will be. Plus, I don't really think I can pull off the colored shoe thing. That seems to be more for women who actually care about shoes on a regular basis. I'm pretty sure I want to get two different pairs for the day - more formal ones for the ceremony, and then something less formal for the reception. But even that has me all confuddled. Do I want to get something casual but cute for the reception, or just trust my old comfy Old Navy flip-flops?

I've never been so concerned or confused about shoes! It's so not me! In the meantime, here's some shoe porn for you to take a look at:

So far, these are my favorite contenders. I like the little toe loop. They're slightly reminiscent of flip-flops, so they fit me and they kind of fit my dress. But they're 3 1/8" high, which is a little higher than what I'm used to wearing. And I certainly don't want to be stumbling down the aisle!


I also really like these. The strap across the toes is a pretty close match to the beadwork on my dress. And I like the ankle strap. I always feel like those make people's feet look very...delicate. Or something.


So, umm...these have blinged-out heels. Seriously! Click on the source link and take a closer look. How cool is that!?

I like these for the reception. They're really cute, and they're super-comfortable. I tried on a champagne-colored pair at DSW. But they might be a little too cute and frilly - they're not really me.


I've posted these before. I'm totally in love with them. If I could find them onsale, I would snap them up in a second for the reception. Unfortunately, though, they're $275, which is just absurd for a little pair of rubber flip-flops. But for real...they are so awesome.

And then, of course, there's my old loves. My trusty Old Navy flip-flops. I'm strongly considering just slipping these on for the reception. I know they'll fit, I know they're comfortable, and this pair is a little bit more exciting than my regular old white ones - these are called "Pearl" (just like my dress!), and they have a bit of a shimmer to them. Maybe that's a sign...


So those are the ones at the top of my list for now. If I were made of money, I'd get the Valentino Bow Thongs for the entire day. But I'm not, so I won't. Oh well... I'm sure I'll find something that I'll totally love.